Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Christine Bleakley’s samba sizzles

Christine Bleakley
Christine Bleakley
Christine Bleakley
TV presenter Christine Bleakley
Christine Bleakley
This year's Strictly Come Dancing hopefuls are front row: Andrew Castle, Lisa Snowdon, Jessie Wallace, Rachel Stevens. Second row: Cherie Lunghi, Heather Small, Phil Daniels, Mark Foster. Third row: Gary Rhodes, Christine Bleakley, Jodie Kidd, Don Warrington. Back row: Austin Healey, Tom Chambers, John Sergeant, Gillian Taylforth.
Christine Bleakley

Northern Ireland’s dancing queen Christine Bleakley has dazzled the judges once more on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 27-year-old TV presenter impressed with her Brazilian samba on Saturday night to ensure she remained in the popular BBC show for at least one more week.

The Co Down beauty is fast becoming one of the favourites to be crowned the competition’s outright champion, when the sixth series ends.

There was no such luck for actor Don Warrington who last night became the fifth celebrity to be eliminated from the show after judges said his performance was “a bit off.”

Warrington and his partner Lilia Kopylova, performing the American Smooth, were put in the bottom two alongside Heather Small and Brian Fortuna by viewer votes and judges' scores.

Both couples had to dance again and for the second week running Small and Fortuna were saved by the judges.

Judge Arlene Phillips said after Warrington's first dance: “I loved the start, you placed your arms well, you started to smile and I thought, ‘fabulous you're relaxed.’

“Then suddenly it went cold, you started thinking about what you were doing; you wouldn't let the dance in. You started that way and then you finished another. Let the dance take over your body.”

Meanwhile judge Bruno Tonioli said: “Well you were a bit off tonight. For an actor it surprises me because you should get what the dance is about. The shoulder was up a little bit, it was not very good technically but usually you get the performance out. You get the character, you should really know how to come out and play.”

Warrington and his partner received just 25 points out of a possible 40.

Three of the judges voted to save Small and Fortuna following the dance off, leaving head judge Len Goodman to comment: “I disagreed. I would have voted for Don and Lilia. Heather did perform better, but I thought Don and Lilia gave a more polished and cleaner performance.”

After his defeat Warrington said he would miss dancing with his partner: “I am sad, Lilia is wonderful. I'm more sad that I won't be able to dance with her any more.”

Kopylova replied: “Don is great, I know how much he enjoyed this and he's tried so hard.”

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